Exactly one year after the launch of a Crowdfunder appeal, the Jack Leslie Campaign has announced that Monumental Icons and our sculptor Andy Edwards has won the bid to design and produce a statue of Jack Leslie, to be situated outside Plymouth Argyle’s stadium, Home Park.
Andy Edwards is renowned for his work, with a wealth of experience in delivering iconic sporting statues, including the acclaimed ‘Clough Taylor’ statue at Derby County’s Pride Park, the Notts County legends ‘Jimmy Sirrel and Jack Wheeler’ at Meadow Lane and the highly-regarded sculpture of ‘Sir Stanley Matthews’ at Stoke City.
Andy’s other work includes statues of The Beatles, boxing legend Muhammad Ali, and civil rights campaigner and slavery abolitionist Frederick Douglass. As most of the preliminary work will take place in Liverpool, Monumental Icons have agreed that Andy can use webcams and social media to document the project.
This means that supporters of the Crowdfunded-statue can watch its progress, wherever they are in the world. Andy, together with Monumental Icons managing director Garry McBride, will be visiting Plymouth to look at the location, meet the campaign committee and, of course, to take in an Argyle match or two.
Andy sees the project as something very personal and one that inspires him greatly.
On hearing the news of their selection, Andy said: “We are eternally grateful and very excited to have been chosen to work with the devoted members of the Jack Leslie statue group, the proud fans of Plymouth Argyle and the wider football community in furthering all of our appreciation of a real legend of the game, and a man whose story can still affect change nearly 100 years on.
We hope to create a statue of peerless quality celebrating excellence, that will also represent respect, dignity, devotion and invigorate the quest for equal rights for all. To everyone who has given their support and backing to this initiative, be assured, we will not let you down.”
Campaign co-founder Greg Foxsmith said: “We are delighted to award this commission to Andy and Monumental Icons, but we would also like to thank all of the shortlisted artists who spent so much time and energy on creating such brilliant proposals. It made it really difficult for us to make the final decision.
Jack’s granddaughter Lesley added: “We love the range of ideas, and we look forward to working with Andy to see a statue that is an accurate portrayal of grandad”.
Campaign co-founder Matt Tiller said: “Whilst we have been impressed by the breadth of Monumental Icons’ portfolio, it is Andy’s artistic vision and his commitment in delivering similar-sized projects that swung it.
“With the support of the team at Monumental Icons, we are confident that Andy will deliver an outstanding statue and a lasting legacy for Jack Leslie.”
The campaign will now be reaching out to companies and businesses in the southwest, with commercial sponsorship opportunities for an accompanying film of the project, landscaping, lighting, and enhancing the statue’s surroundings. All sponsors will be recognised on the statue plinth.
Whilst Monumental Icons’ own sculptor, Andy Edwards, has been responsible for creating activist Frederick Douglass, boxer Muhammad Ali, footballer Pelé and artist/actor Paul Leroy Robeson, findings in a BBC study within the UK were far from conclusive.
We always advocate that each piece we create needs to have far more relevance than simply being a statue that commemorates a person or a moment in time.